Terms of Service

By purchasing any service, you are agreeing to the Terms & Policies as expressed below. For policies related to my blog and website (not related to my services), see my Legal Jargon page.

Any additional terms outlined in a signed contract would supersede these terms, unless otherwise specified. For all other, non-contract work (flat-fee and packaged services, for instance) these terms apply unless specifically indicated in a signed contract.

These Terms of Service (“terms”) outlined below are a general procedure for my services and packages, as an agreement between You (the client, potential, current or past) and Me (the developer, service provider, WordPress ninja).

Quotes

Quotes are provided for development services, including custom website design/development and customization. Quotes will be honored for 2 weeks from the date of creation, after which time another quote will be provided upon request.

Hourly Rate

It is my preference to provide a flat fee quote for services, however there are often times when an hourly rate is easier and makes more sense. For quoted work, we’ll discuss what your project needs are specifically and I’ll provide either a flat-fee quote or an estimate of hours. My quotes are determined by the complexity of the project, the amount of work needing to be done (time and effort), timeline for completion and value of my experience relevant to your specific project. Any follow-up work or changes is provided on a quote basis or at an hourly rate of $100/hr.

Deposits

Custom development. Any custom development under $500 is to be paid in full to start, with the exception of revisions to custom designs as defined in their specific contract, which are usually billed at completion. Any custom development over $500 requires 50% up-front and 50% at completion of my work (we’ll set a timeline for this date).

Full Website Development. Full website development services (over $1,000) require 25% as a deposit to secure my time, with the remainder due at the completion of my work (we’ll set a timeline for this date), usually within a week of the staging site reveal or prior to site launch, whichever is sooner. Larger projects that span more than 4 weeks will have phased completion and payment dates.

Cancellation & Refunds/Exchange Policy

Generally speaking, due to the nature of the services I provide, I do not provide refunds or exchanges. Because of the scope and practicality of building a website development, it is not a feasible to stop mid-way through. I also trust that you, being an able-bodied and intelligent adult, will have carefully considered your project, timeline, budget and reviewed these terms prior to commiting both our time to the project.

In some very rare exceptions we can arrange a refund. For instance, if you have submitted payment for a service on accident and I have not confirmed a timeline for service – or if my timeline does not work for you, then I will refund your package price, less a 6% processing fee (3% each way). However, once you pay for a service and confirm the timeline, there can be no refunds within these guidelines:

  • If you change cancel my services with at least two weeks notice of our agreed upon start date, I will retain the deposit. Refer to the deposit section above.
  • If I have already started working on your project, or your project starts in the following two weeks, you will forfeit the entire fee, regardless of where I am when you pull the plug.
  • If you simply wish to make changes, we can discuss revisions and I’ll provide an additional quote as necessary.

Revisions

Custom Development. If you want to change your mind or add anything new, that won’t be a problem as I’ll provide a separate estimate for that work or modify the existing quote, depending on the circumstances.

Full Website Development. You’ll have an opportunity to review the finished product at the end of my turnaround time. If you would like to make changes, I will provide another quote for the additional work, unless we have a previously agreed on a number of hours towards revisions as part of your original contract.

All work: Implementation of any complex functionality not already present in WordPress and Genesis, not easily implemented by available plugins, and not described in your contract is outside the scope of your project and will require an additional service quote to implement.

Guarantee on Work

I do my very best to provide you with a top-notch product. We’re all human, things can slip by us and typos happen, so I am happy to fix any such errors on my coding work related specifically to the scope of the project – if the errors are entirely related to my work and not other elements outside my control (natural disasters, user errors, tumblbeasts, et cetera). However, this does not include content-related work, or any element of the project that has been edited by anyone else. I will hand you a completed project, and it is your responsibility to take care of it.

I will always stand by my work in the context of the project scope and reasonable time frames. For example, if a slider stops working because I accidentally used two conflicting conditional statements, I’ll fix it free of charge. However, if my code becomes obsolete due to an upgrade, theme change, plugin conflict, human intervention, natural disaster or divine intervention then I can provide an additional quote to make the required changes. Some examples may include, but are not limited to: If you mess about in the code and break something; If you hire another developer and she/he does the same; If you server crashes or your site is hacked, et cetera. In all those cases are any similar, I’ll provide a quote for the work.

Ultimately, you’re paying me for my time. A project scope and estimate is based on a set number of hours. If this time exceeds the estimate by more than 10%, than any additional time will become require additional fees. Sometimes concessions are made in order to stay on time and on budget, in those cases I will let you know what items don’t fit within the scope or require additional time.

Browser Testing & Mobile Responsive Design

Browser testing no longer means attempting to make a website look the same in browsers of different capabilities or on devices with different size screens. It does mean ensuring that a person’s experience of a design should be appropriate to the capabilities of a browser or device.

I utilize a system that tests the site on current versions of major browsers, as displayed on numerous devices and platforms, for the widest range of user applications. Ideally browser testing is based on analytics of your existing site. In lieu of analytic data or agreement on other browser testing, I test and support development for the 2 most current versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and their mobile equivalents on common devices (iPhone, Andriod, Windows Phone). Internet Explorer can be a fickle beast and usually displays a “dumbed-down” version of more advanced (and common) styles that display well on other browsers. I am currently supporting IE 9+ on desktop views. This does not mean every system and browser, but the majority of current browsers used, which usually covers the vast majority of web users. If you have concerns about your site’s experience in a different array of devices or browsers, we can discuss testing those browsers specifically.

Full Website development includes mobile responsive design, ensuring that a person’s experience of the design is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they’re using. I cannot guarantee that every device in every platform will work perfectly in every case, but I will ensure that the site is displaying and functioning appropriately on the majority of devices and platforms.

Functionality & Plugins

I will create a site with the desired functionality outlined in the scope, but there is the inherent potential of coding conflicts or feasibility issues. As such, I reserve the right to make changes to the functionality as necessary to create a workable, user-friendly site with the final site’s intent in mind. If I believe a portion of the desired functionality no longer feasible or in conflict with other elements of the site I will inform you of such and we can discuss how to make adjustments. Occasionally, this may require elements outside the original scope and an additional service quote.

In order to provide a well-functioning site at a reasonable price and timeline, I will often choose existing free or paid third-party plugins to integrate into the site. The coding community contains a vast amount of open source code and plugins that allow every developer to provide a higher level of functionality without increasing their time or cost to clients (or re-inventing the wheel).

I choose only plugins that I believe to be of good quality, but obviously, I cannot be held accountable for issues of third-party plugins or issues that occur due to user error, updates, or deletions after server migration. If you encounter problems with custom-built functionality I can provide assistance either at my hourly rate or at a quoted, flat-fee for a specific scope.

Development & Completion Timelines

I work hard to complete all projects in a timely manner and will provide you with an estimated time of delivery for the project. If you are hiring me for a custom development, I will communicate with you during the entire development of the project, provide status updates and answers to any questions that may arise. Should you fail to provide the necessary pieces of information within 15 days of the date requested, your deposit will be forfeited and the project will be cancelled without notice.

Communication

Communication is key! I will do my very best to reach out if I have any questions, concerns or issues. That goes both ways, though, and I will rely on your timely response to get the project competed. Email communication is the most vital part of getting your website completed in a timely manner. Should I not be able to contact the you by phone or email within 15 consecutive days, your deposit will be forfeited and the project will be cancelled without notice.

Coding Standards

I typical deliver WordPress sites with child themes build on the Genesis Framework. This may include any theme-specific functions, as well as plugin-functions, custom stylesheets and third-party plugins necessary to achieve the desired functionality of the finished product. I code using the most current coding standards outlined by WordPress and general practice of the PHP, HTML and CSS coding community.

Payments

I’m sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that I send you promptly. As I’m also sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick to the agreed upon payment schedule. I will invoice you with my FreshBooks invoicing service, which has a secure payment form. You can also pay me directly thought my secure payment form here.

This allows you options to pay, protection and the ability to pay using a variety of methods (credit/debit cards, bank account, et cetera). Deposits (see above) go towards the total quoted fee, with any remainder due upon completion of my quoted work (in the case of full website development this is usually prior to server migration, for custom development it is within one week of completing my quoted work), as well as any revisions quoted separately (see relevant sections above). Hourly development is billed weekly on Fridays, due by end of the following week (next Friday).

Late Payments: If payments are not received by 30 days from invoice date a delinquency fee of $50 or 5%, whichever is larger, will be added to the invoice. Processing fees (~3%) will also be applied to deliquent balances paid online.

Authorization

You agree to provide access to any hosting, domain account, or blog account for the sole purpose of installing and updating the products as needed.

Copyrights

First, you guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by you or that you’ve permission to use them. Then, when your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:

  • You’ll own the visual elements that I create for your project. I’ll give you finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as I’m not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them.
  • I’ll own the unique combination of these elements that constitutes a complete design and I’ll license that you, exclusively and in perpetuity for your project only, unless we agree otherwise.

I love to show off my work and share what I’ve learned with other people, so I reserve the right, with your permission, to display and link to your custom development project as part of my portfolio and to write about it on websites, in magazine articles and in books. I will honor your privacy and anonymize any code I release to the public.

Hosting & Migration

Hosting services are not included with any of my services – I’m not a host. You must provide your own host. I highly recommend DreamHost or Bluehost.

I include migration in Design to Website work and my Out-of-the-box Websites to the following hosts: DreamHost, Bluehost, Media Temple, WPEngine and GreenGeeks. If your site is hosted with any other host, you will receive 60 minutes of time spent migrating and/or troubleshooting your host, after which it will be billed at my hourly rate (see above). Custom development may include migration, per the specific agreement.

Technical Support

I’m not a website hosting company so I don’t offer support for website hosting, email or other services relating to hosting. Any additional support needed after the final deliverables are installed on your site would be quoted as a flat-fee or hourly rate, as outlined above.

I do my best to provide the tools necessary for you to get started, but do not provide continuing support – because WordPress, StudioPress, Gravity Forms and all those other services/software have the support network in place. If you need help, I am happy to provide help on a project, quoted basis – but you may be able to find help for many things through the established support forms, networks and WordPress community. Once migrated to your host, it is your responsibility to maintain your site.

I also highly recommend Codeable for small updates and changes to your site, as well as WP Site Care for post-launch support. Part of launching your site will include setting up a backup and restore system, security monitoring, and/or support through your host. These services are optional, but highly recommend for long-term stability of your site.

Other Legal Jargon

I work to provide a solid, reliable product as is within my ability – and I pride myself on being forth-right and honest in all my interactions. That said, I can’t guarantee that my work will be error-free and so I can’t be held liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if you’ve advised me of them.

For all other miscellaneous legal stuff outside the scope of the terms of service, like my site disclaimer, privacy policy, comment policy, et cetera, please refer to the Legal Jargon page.

These terms are subject to change at any moment without notice. These terms were last updated October 29, 2015 and is now available on Github.